Our Staff

Diane Baker

Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development-Metro & Military

University of Illinois Extension
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309-756-9978
FAX: 309-756-9987

Diane Baker provides leadership to the 4-H Youth Development program for Military and Metro programming. Diane has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in Education from Western Illinois University.

Diane has twenty-three years of experience in working with 4-H Youth Development programs in northwestern Illinois. Diane started her Extension career in Whiteside County before moving to a multi-county educator position in the greater Quad Cities area. During that time, Diane has worked with 4-H programs in urban, rural, and military communities to develop innovative 4-H programming for youth ages 5 – 19. Diane's programming includes, but is not limited to:

  • Expanding 4-H Clubs & Programs to New Audiences
  • Teen Leadership Development
  • Science Enrichment
  • Volunteer Management
  • Networking and Partnerships
  • 4-H Club Program Management

Diane's professional association involvement includes Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education and the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Included among her professional awards are the state and national Distinguished Service Awards for her programming excellence as well as the national 4-H / Army Youth Development Salute Award.

Expanding 4-H Clubs & Programs to New Audiences – building upon the success of the 4-H Club model, along with unique outreach initiatives, to actively engage youth and families who have not traditionally been involved with 4-H opportunities

Teen Leadership Development – engage teens in positive youth development leadership opportunities at the county-level and beyond. This will include advanced leadership opportunities for youth who have been involved in 4-H community clubs, as well as reaching out to new teens who have not traditionally been involved in 4-H.

Science Enrichment – through our national network of land-grant universities, 4-H has access to current, research-based information, especially in the science field. 4-H is uniquely positioned to offer hands-on 4-H science experiences to youth in a wide variety of settings – through 4-H projects, 4-H special events and activities such as Science Siesta and Science Camp, participation in the National 4-H Science Experiment (Wired for Wind in October 2011), and providing curriculum resources to schools such as incubation / embryology

Volunteer Management – provide leadership to the 4-H volunteer programs in the tri-county area which includes volunteer recruitment, screening, orientation and training for 4-H clubs, events, activities, and groups.

Networking and Partnerships – communicating actively with schools and community organizations serving youth to ensure that needs of youth are being met but that 4-H programs are not duplicating the services already available to young people through other local organizations

4-H Club Program Management – provide program supervision and training for 4-H Program Coordinators who manage the 4-H community club program in each county. These individuals are responsible for 4-H data management, coordination of 4-H events and activities including 4-H project workshops, camps and 4-H fairs, risk management plans for club and county 4-H programs, supervision of 4-H project committees, and facilitating communication with 4-H families and volunteers.

Program Offerings

Experiential Learning–Training for Adults and Teens who work with youth.

Training that is designed specifically for client requests, includes emphasis on:

  • What is experiential learning–the model and the steps
  • How does experiential learning relate to developmental readiness of youth
  • How does experiential learning relate to learning styles of youth
  • How to incorporate the experiential learning technique in instruction

Tips and Techniques for Working with Youth Audiences

This flexible format training can include the following componenets:

  • Developmental readiness of youth (what to expect from various ages)
  • Behavior management
  • Techniques for managing groups
  • Making learning fun for youth and the teacher
  • Temperament and/or learning styles of youth

In-service opportunities for classroom teachers or youth group leaders on the following topics:

  • Incorporating workforce preparation into your program
  • Incorportating horticulture education into your program
  • Incorporating science education into your program

Needs Identification and Program Development

  • Diane works with schools and other agencies to identify current needs of youth and develop appropriate educational programs to respond to needs